News agencies are reporting that a former Orange County resident orchestrated a $763 million tax conspiracy that may have defraud the IRS and U.S. taxpayers of more than $10 million.
According to the Associated Press, federal prosecutors in Seattle have charged Ronald L. Brekke, a 54-year-old former Newport Beach and Fountain Valley resident, with crimes surrounding allegations that he helped prepare income tax returns seeking bogus refunds.
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The alleged scheme was doomed because authorities discovered that two Canadian citizens working with Brekke, a former Minnesota carpenter, had filed fake U.S. tax returns and each grabbed more than $350,000 in refunds.
Brekke's defense attorney said at a court hearing that, "He's made no effort to hide what he's doing."
But he might be hoping to employ an insanity defense. Brekke has reportedly argued that he can't be charged because the U.S. government is "a corporation" and his federal indictment was improper because his name was listed in all capital letters.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly